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MALCOLM KNOX's new book, Bluebird, is about longing, regret, redemption and the terrible legacy of decades of secrets buried in an Australian beachside suburb. Bob Moore chatted with him about the new book and how humour can be a common theme for writers.

Articles in this issue

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Archive Discoveries

  • Teachers of writing classes often tell their students ‘show, don’t tell’. But showing – which means providing vivid description so that readers can clearly imagine what is being represented – depends to a large extent on memory and an alertness to the present moment. Writer and memoir instructor PATTI MILLER, author of Ransacking Paris, shows here how you can draw on sensory memory to enhance your writing. Read on >
  • The changing moral code and shift in gender roes of World War II provide the backdrop for JENNIFER RYAN's debut novel The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN about the people and events that inspired the story. Read on >
  • Marine biologist SHANNON LEONE FOWLER was embracing her fiancé, Sean, in the ocean off the coast of Thailand when a box jellyfish stung and killed him.Thai authorities tried to dismiss his death as a drunk drowning. Traveling with Ghosts follows the months Shannon spent on a strange trajectory through Eastern Europe, fleeing from the ocean and from grief. She tells us how her memoir came to be, 14 years after Sean’s death. Read on >
  • From an investigation into the scandals of the Catholic Church by Tom Keneally to Jeffrey Archer’s thrilling last instalment in the ‘Clifton Chronicles’ series or a tale of a shrewd female locksmith in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, these books will delight you over the long, languid days of summer. Read on >
  • Meet the author who won the ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year 2015, and find out about her latest title, The Art of Keeping Secrets. Read on >
  • Real-life historical figures and 18th-century court cases dealing with adultery inspired one of two interwoven storylines in The Wife’s Tale, a new novel by Australian author CHRISTINE WELLS. She tells MAUREEN EPPEN how the true events from the past inform her tale of scandal, intrigue, murder – and love.  Read on >
  • If you think of the German navy in World War II, then you probably conjure up images of grand-scale conflicts such as the Battle of the Atlantic or the Baltic Sea campaigns. But not so many people are aware that German ships were also on the prowl down in the South Pacific and in the Indian Ocean, where they disguised themselves as ordinary freighters before launching their deadly assaults on unsuspecting Allied craft. False Flags, a new account by Canberra author STEPHEN ROBINSON, tells the story of four German raiders, including the infamous attack by one of them, the Kormoran, on the HMAS Sydney in 1941. GRANT HANSEN reports. Read on >
  • GEORGIA BLAIN is a novelist and journalist who lives in Sydney. Her first novel, Closed for Winter, was adapted into movie in 2009. LEONIE DYER asked Georgia about her latest novel, Between a Wolf and a Dog. Read on >
  • AOIFE CLIFFORD is the winner of the Scarlet Stiletto Award for one of her crime stories, but All These Perfect Strangers is her first novel. The Melbourne-based crime novelist talks with us about New Year’s resolutions, her Irish poet grandfather and the similarities between writing a novel and creating a papier-mâché puppet.  Read on >
  • Australian novelist NICOLA MORIARTY is the youngest of six siblings, two of whom – Jacyln and Liane – are also accomplished novelists. Her latest novel, The Fifth Letter, examines the relationships of a group of friends after a letter-writing dare uncovers a festering cache of secrets andr esentment. ANGUS DALTON reports. Read on >
  • The town of Sorrento in southern Italy sits high on a clff above the Tyrrhenian Sea, whose waters are sobuoyant and warm that you can doze off while floating on its surface. But as author KATE FURNIVALL found, the nearby city of Naples is steeped in a history of danger and wartime poverty. The UK author tells gr her latest novel, The Liberation, was inspired by the secret tunnels, mafia strongholds and the of child street gangs she encountered on a recent visit to the Bay of Naples. Read on >

Book Reviews in this issue

  • This debut novel won the 2017 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers and is a brilliant read. Alex and Amy’s real journey is about finding each other. Families can inflict pain and damage but the ties that bind run deep. While the novel deals with grief and trauma, it is also humorous and perceptive. I found Alex and Amy’s story compelling and I couldn’t stop thinking about them after I finished. Read on >

  • Glimpses of Utopia is arresting from the very first sentence: ‘What if the future we need is vastly different to the future we’ve been told we want?’ It’s the first of many questions Jess poses that challenge the prevailing systems that govern every aspect of our lives. It’s an optimistic, evidence-based vision for the future that reads more like a real-world drama where we all write the ending. Read on >

  • This story felt real and I was completely captivated. Read on >

  • Be prepared. Before you open this book, take a deep breath … it might be a while before you come up for air.  Read on >

  • The 12 writers in this anthology have contributed fiction, poetry and non-fiction, imagining an alternative Australia after empire, colony, and white supremacy. The collection is bookended by pieces from Hannah Donnelly, a Wiradjuri writer interested in indigenous futures, and speculative fiction. She has also written two moving pieces in the collection cast as ‘interludes’ about miscegenation and brushes with the law. Read on >

  • The book shows that climate change isn’t one big thing, but a mass of small things building together slowly but surely against us. There are stories of heroism and hope that provide a silver lining to the book’s doom and gloom. Read on >

  • Anatolia is more than just a cookbook; it is also an education and travel book which is beautifully presented. I can’t wait to cook more of the recipes. Read on >

  • While the non-chronological order of the book sometimes makes the order of events confusing, The Awful Truth is a genuinely fascinating look at an age of news gone by. Read on >

  • Every now and again a book comes along that speaks to us as readers. Asking us to look at not just what we read or why we read, but how our reading influences the way we interact with the world around us. For readers and writers alike, this is a book to read and absorb and take solace that, despite the challenges and obstacles placed in front of our creatives, there are passionate advocates and practitioners whose work is to be celebrated for years to come. Read on >

  • This is a huge, powerful novel about the corrosiveness of keeping family secrets. Read on >

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Books for Boys